Investigation of the Radiation Environment in Deep Space and Its Effect on Spacecraft Materials Properties
In the deep space exploration activities, the spacecraft would travel through the interplanetary space and arrive at other planets. The vehicles would be exposed to the harmful space environments during traveling or while orbiting the planet. The radiation environment is one of the most important environmental factors that would affect the spacecraft performance. The radiation environment in the interplanetary space, as well as on Jupiter, Saturn and Mars is described in this paper. Radiation in the interplanetary space consists of galactic cosmic rays and solar protons. Because Jupiter has the strongest magnetic field in the Solar system, the particle energy in its radiation belt is ten times that of the Earth’s radiation belt and its flux is a few orders of magnitude larger than at the Earth. In this harmful radiation environment, many of the materials used in the vehicle design would suffer significant properties degradation or failure. Also the effects of these severe radiation environments on vehicle materials are analyzed in this paper.
KeywordsDeep space Radiation environment Spacecraft material Effect Mars Jupiter Saturn
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